Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura has become an honorary member of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation (MTF), following a request from Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Patron of the foundation.
The honor came as recognition of Greece’s leading role in the development of tourism in the Mediterranean region.
According to Malta’s president, Greece’s successful tourism strategy could serve as an example for the development of other Mediterranean countries.
Established in 2013, the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation is an international initiative of Malta’s president and works closely with the European Commission and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to develop international priorities and policies in tourism, focusing on the Mediterranean. Honorary members include former UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, UN Princess of Jordan and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Dana Firas, as well as former tourism ministers of Mediterranean countries, representatives of international organizations and prominent personalities in the travel market.
Following her acceptance of the title, Minister Kountoura attended the 6th Mediterranean Tourism Forum in Malta.
Minister Kountoura attended a panel discussion during the foundation’s forum and referred to Greece’s tourism policy and the country’s strategies over the last four years, which have led to impressive results, both in terms of arrivals and revenue. The minister underlined the value and importance of tourism for the Mediterranean countries as one of the most important productive activities that have an overall impact on the economy, society and the environment.
Moreover, Kountoura informed the foundation’s president, Tony Zahra, that Greece supports initiatives to strengthen tourism as a development sector in accordance to the agenda of governments of Mediterranean countries and the European Union. She also informed on Greece’s initiative to address, at a European level, the impact of Brexit on travel and tourism in case of a no-deal scenario between the UK and the EU.
During the forum, Minister Kountoura also attended the forum’s special session of the Mediterranean Women in Tourism Chapter, which aims to improve the position of women in Mediterranean societies through tourism.
The session focused on tourism entrepreneurship challenges and opportunities for women across the Mediterranean region. As it was highlighted, empowering women in entrepreneurship and management in the tourism industry serves to increase the participation of women in the process of economic development of a country.